Self-Taught Chef Educates and Inspires Youth with Culinary School

Shown is Tamika Wolfe making sushi with Amiya Levine.
Shown preparing meals is Larissa Garcia and Jaleah Jermott

Westside High graduate Tamika Wolfe learned to cook from her grandmother when she was 10 years old. Wolfe and her sister had a sibling cooking rivalry that she always lost which led her to rethink her way of cooking when preparing meals. Tamika began experimenting with recipes to hone her craft over the years. Finally, she brought her passion for cooking to the main stage with the  opening of Tamika’s School of Epicure on the Westside to pass on what she’s learned to educate local kids on the joy of cooking. The school’s goal is to use food and cooking as a tool to facilitate health, nutritional education and social change.

“Our vision is for Jacksonville to be a healthy, vibrant, and economically stable place with thriving families,” said founder Tamika Wolfe.

The culinary school also organizes weekly food distribution to those in need and offers six-week culinary cohorts for ages 6 – 18 and adults between the ages of 18 to 26 matriculating out of foster care or disabled/handicap. Cohorts teach basic cooking skills, operating kitchen gadgets, gardening, field trips and recipe creation. After the six week course, the epicureans receive Selfserv certification and job assistance connecting the client with organizations for full-time employment in the culinary industry.

Her impact on the local community and kids recently won Wolfe a runner-up spot in the Sprouts Farmers Market’s ‘Nominate Your Neighbor,’ campaign along with a $500 gift card to Sprouts. The campaign celebrates good samaritans who exemplify kindness, goodwill and service to others while encouraging a healthy way of life.

The classes are free for local youth and the next cohort beings January 19th. To sign up visit

To learn more about Sprouts, and the good it brings to communities, visit   

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